A new book by Melania Trump's ex-best friend make new claims about the secret war between the First Lady and her stepdaughter Ivanka and how Melania strokes the President's massive ego.
Melania & Me by former Vogue magazine executive Stephanie Wolkoff details how Melania thwarted Ivanka Trump's relentless campaign to be the White House's most important female.
Melania reportedly mockingly nicknamed her ambitious stepdaughter "Princess" behind her back, and the relationship is both strained and competitive, with aides working overtime to keep the two apart.
The book also discloses Melania's "coquettish, hyperfeminine" encouragement of Donald Trump's conceit and self-absorption and how he calls her "baby" and "my girl".
Wolkoff says Melania's battle to keep the First Daughter and husband Jared Kushner from grabbing the spotlight even had a name, "Operation Block Ivanka".
This meant literally blocking Ivanka's face from media coverage at the inauguration by manipulating the seating arrangement, and stonewalling at every turn her dogged pursuit of centre stage.
Wolkoff's account suggests Melania did this with great glee.
One of Melania's small inner circle before it all went pear-shaped over her event management of Trump's inauguration celebration, Wolkoff speaks plainly about the First Lady.
"Twenty years ago, she had been a barely-getting-by model in Paris," she writes in her book, according to an extract published in New York magazine's Intelligencer section.
"Thirty years ago, she'd lived in Communist Slovenia.
"On the inauguration programme … she wanted to be listed as 'First Lady-Elect' even though, as I reminded her, she had not in fact been elected."
She also revealed Melania's disclosure that in 2016 her son with Trump, Barron, "had worn a suit and tie to school. He was dressing 'just like his dad'. The other kids laughed at him."
A super confident, very direct and always immaculately turned out Melania told her son not to listen to them and to "be strong".
Wolkoff's massive fall from First Lady BFF and a fixture in the East Wing – traditionally the White House domain of the US President's wife – to persona non grata came after the January 2017 inauguration.
When she first met Donald Trump, Wolkoff writes, she thought of him as "a harmless egomaniac".
But she now claims the Trump administration orchestrated a negative media campaign against her in order to distract from its own failings and errors in its first term of office.
Prior to organising the inauguration celebrations, Wolkoff had been a Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week fashion director and producer of the legendary New York Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute annual event, the Met Gala.
For organising 18 events over several days in Washington DC culminating in Trump's inauguration, Wolkoff's company earned $28.43 million.
When the president learned this and that one of her contractors was paid $4.37m he was "enraged", her book claims, but she insists the money went to many people.
When the details were leaked to the media, an aide told Wolkoff her relationship with the White House had been "severed".
Wolkoff contacted Melania, who told her: "Don't be so dramatic. You weren't fired."
It was the end of a friendship that had begun when Melania turned up at Vogue, where Wolkoff was a PR boss, for a photo shoot ahead of her 2005 wedding to Trump.
The friendship had continued via weekly lunches in New York of salmon and french fries, and affectionate texts from Melania who loves using heart, laugh, kiss and flower emojis.
Wolkoff has kept the texts, taped phone calls with Melania and a paper trail of bills and receipts for the events she staged for the Trumps, including the lavish presidential candlelight dinner.
She describes just how isolated Melania is, apart from her parents, sister and son, and a small group of friends, now even smaller minus Wolkoff.
In the extract printed by New York magazine, the most revealing parts are Ivanka's bid to take control of the inauguration, the East Wing and the limelight, and Melania's firm resistance.
"It was Donald's inauguration, not Ivanka's. But no one was brave enough to tell her that," Wolkoff writes.
At every new swearing in of a president and vice president, their spouses and guests are seated near them as they take the oath of office at the US Capitol.
Afterwards they make their way down Pennsylvania Ave in Washington to the White House, leading a procession.
Ivanka had insisted on being seated close to her father for the swearing in and walking in the parade with her children.
"We knew where the cameras would be located because the platforms were already in place," she wrote.
"We were able to figure out whose face would be visible when Donald and Melania sat in their seats, and then when the family stood … for Donald to take the oath of office.
"If Ivanka was not on the aisle, her face would be hidden while she was seated.
"We put Barron between Donald and Melania and made sure that Don Jr stood next to Melania, not Ivanka."
Watching the TV coverage from a Washington hotel room, Rachel Roy, a close friend texted Wolkoff a photo she's taken of the screen showing Melania's head completely blocking Ivanka's.
The text read: "Happy MT blocked IT!".